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Disney's "Chimpanzee"

Video: An Amazing Tale!

"CHIMPANZEE" OPENS NATIONWIDE AUG 20 (EARTH DAY!)

Disneynature takes moviegoers deep into the forests of Africa with "Chimpanzee", a new True Life adventure introducing a young chimp named Oscar and his entertaining approach to life in a remarkable story of family bonds and individual triumph.


Dr. Jane Goodall
In the summer of 1960, a young Englishwoman arrived on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in what is now Tanzania, East Africa. She was about to venture into the African forest to study chimpanzees-a highly unorthodox activity for a woman in those days. In fact, British authorities had insisted that the young woman have a companion, and so her mother would share this adventure for a time. As Jane Goodall first surveyed the mountains and valley forests of what was then called the Gombe Stream Chimpanzee Reserve, she had no idea her coming efforts would redefine the relationship between humans and animals or that the project would continue into the 21st century.
At first, the Gombe chimps fled whenever they saw Goodall. She persisted, however, watching from a distance with binoculars, and gradually the chimps allowed her closer. One day in the fall of 1960, she saw chimpanzee David Greybeard strip leaves off twigs to fashion tools for fishing termites from a nest. Scientists thought humans were the only species to make and use tools, but here was evidence to the contrary. On hearing of Goodall's observation, Dr. Leakey said: "Now we must redefine tool, redefine man, or accept chimpanzees as humans." This would be one of Goodall's most important discoveries.
 In 1961, she entered Cambridge University as a Ph.D. candidate, one of very few people to be admitted without a college degree. She earned her Ph.D. in ethology in 1966.
It is hard to overstate the degree to which Dr. Goodall changed and enriched the field of primatology. She defied scientific convention by giving the Gombe chimps names instead of numbers, and insisted on the validity of her observations that animals have distinct personalities, minds and emotions. She wrote of lasting chimpanzee family relationships. Through the years, her work continued to yield surprising insights, such as the unsettling discovery that chimpanzees engage in primitive and brutal warfare. In early 1974, a "four-year war" began at Gombe, the first record of long-term "warfare" in nonhuman primates. Members of the Kasekela group systematically annihilated members of the Kahama splinter group. In 1987, Dr. Goodall and her field staff would also observe adolescent Spindle "adopt" three-year-old orphan Mel, even though the infant was not a close relative.   Said Gilbert Grosvenor, chairman of The National Geographic Society: "Jane Goodall's trail-blazing path for other women primatologists is arguably her greatest legacy. During the last third of the 20th century, Dian Fossey, Birute Galdikas, Cheryl Knott, Penny Patterson, and many more women have followed her. Indeed, women now dominate long-term primate behavioral studies worldwide." In 1977, Dr. Goodall established the Jane Goodall Institute. The Institute supports the continuing research at Gombe and is a global leader in the effort to protect chimpanzees and their habitats. It also is widely recognized for establishing innovative community-centered conservation and development programs in Africa, and Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots, the global environmental and humanitarian youth program, which has groups in more than 120 countries.
Dr. Goodall's scores of honors include the Medal of Tanzania, the National Geographic Society's Hubbard Medal, Japan's prestigious Kyoto Prize, the Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research, the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Science, UNESCO Gold Medal Award, and the Gandhi/King Award for Nonviolence. In April 2002, Secretary-General Kofi Annan named Dr. Goodall a United Nations Messenger of Peace. Messengers help mobilize the public to become involved in work that makes the world a better place. They serve as advocates in a variety of areas: poverty eradication, human rights, peace and conflict resolution, HIV/AIDS, disarmament, community development and conservation. In 2004, in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace, Prince Charles invested Dr. Goodall as a Dame of the British Empire, the female equivalent of knighthood. In 2006, Dr. Goodall received France's highest recognition, the French Legion of Honor, presented by Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin in Paris.
Dr. Goodall's list of publications is extensive, including two overviews of her work at Gombe-In the Shadow of Man and Through a Window-as well as two autobiographies in letters, a best-selling autobiography, Reason for Hope, and Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating. In 2009, she released Hope for Animals and Their World: How Endangered Species are Being Rescued from the Brink about the successful efforts of conservationists determined to save endangered species. Her many children's books include Grub: the Bush Baby, Chimpanzees I Love: Saving Their World and Ours and My Life with the Chimpanzees. The Chimpanzees of Gombe: Patterns of Behavior is recognized as the definitive work on chimpanzees and is the culmination of Dr. Goodall's scientific career. Dr. Goodall has been the subject of numerous television documentaries and is featured in the large-screen format film Jane Goodall's Wild Chimpanzees (2002) and the documentary film about her life, Jane's Journey (2010). Discovery Channel Animal Planet specials featuring Dr. Goodall include: Jane Goodall's Return to Gombe, Jane Goodall's State of the Great Ape, When Animals Talk, Jane's Goodall's Heroes, and Almost Human.

Alastair Fothergill - Director & Producer

Alastair Fothergill, recently described by the 'Wall Street Journal' as the "Spielberg of nature films", directed Disneynature's "Earth" (2009) and co-directed "African Cats" (2011). He has produced three of the most critically acclaimed documentary series of all time: "The Blue Planet" (2001), "Planet Earth" (2006) and "Frozen Planet" (2011).  Alastair joined the BBC in 1983, where he produced films with Sir David Attenborough, including "Life in the Freezer" and "The Trials of Life."  He served as head of the BBC Natural History Unit from 1992 until 1998.  

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